Daylight in Buildings

Lanterns of the Community


Joonwoo Lee, Sarah Tsui, Silvia Deng


Gonzalo Lopez


Pratt Institute


United States

Lanterns of the Community

Project Description

In many states across America, people are moving into bigger cities for better opportunities, leaving many vacant and abandoned properties to wither away with the elements. Montgomery, Alabama, is an example of deurbanization, which brings a rise in crime rates and a decline in property values, making it very challenging to reclaim abandoned sites to sustain the remaining community. We are proposing a scalable device, which we are calling “Equalight”, that can be applied onto existing abandoned structures, morphing them into communal collective spaces. The device allows us to re-purpose these abandoned buildings to allow Montgomery's community to reclaim their space and use it to shed light into their community. Our device can be applied as a roof, window, or stand on its own. The device is made of a skeleton and a skin. The skeleton of the device consists of retractable rods that connect to a central iris aperture at the top. The adjustable rods allow for various heights to adapt into various weather conditions. The adjustable aperture serves as both a method of ventilation and a source of direct sunlight. At the top, the screen blocks out bugs and other foliage from entering in through the aperture when it is open. The skin of our device is a colored, weatherproof composite fabric that passes indirect sunlight translucently. Even at night, interior lighting causes the structures to glow like lanterns, shedding light into the community. Through this bi-directional use of light (natural and artificial), the community will find new ways of re-occupying their open spaces, shifting the notion of abandonment to that of collective opportunity.